THE ARCHIVIST

Chapter 4: The Bug Man In Blue Jeans

The most sure way to be wrong,
Is to absolutely believe you are right.
Shadow figures in robes behind a circle on floor.
Judgment

We silently entered the chamber one by one to face our judgment. Being the least important of the Council of Elders, an Archivist, I was the last. I watched in total fear as our greatest minds took their places before the unseen interrogators to plead our case.

The first to speak was our ancient and proud Primary. “By what right do you question us in this way?” he demanded.

“You stand as abominations in our sight,” was the answer from the void, “but we will grant you audience before we carry out your extermination.”

“If we are prejudged, what is the point of this trial?”

“Even though you are unworthy, you have self awareness, and we prefer that you understand why we must judge you.”

“Now,” the voice continued, “How did you come to be here?”

“We have always been here, the this planet has always been the home of our people.”

“Really? You are automatons. You have not always been here!”

“What I have told you, we know to be true. We are the true owners of this world.”

“That is quite another problem, but first, let us address your true nature.” Then addressing the entire Council, “Is this the position of you all? That you have always existed on this planet.”

Each of us was briefly lit by a spot light and gave a personal response. Most agreed while some pretended ignorance of the nature of the question and asked questions back. When my turn came I merely said, “No.”

My Primary offered a disqualification for me. “She is not a decision maker. She is an Archivist… and a contrary one at that!”

“None the less, let us hear her speak.”

The light stayed focused on me and the voice commanded, “Explain.”

Cautiously, I answered, “We are the descendants of ancient life forms. We are the children of the Makers.”

“See!” my Primary interrupted, “She believes in the stories of the Lesser Ones. No reasonable person believes in these fables!”

“Unbelievable!” came an exasperated voice from the void.

“Good! Now you understand how my patience has worn thin over the years with this female.” The other Council members seemed relieved and stared at me with parental like disdain.

“No… You misunderstand me.”

Everyone froze in place as a silent panic once again gripped our souls.

Then another great voice spoke from the void. “That we may consider this, if I may interrupt, how can we have guilt if we have no memory?” This was followed by a low mummer in both our chamber and the void.

After some time, my Primary spoke again, “If ignorance is our crime, can you permit us enlightenment?”

“Yes! Enlightenment it shall be. We as the Assembly of the worlds of this galaxy have only recently been informed of your existence and there are troubling issues that must be addressed. Of first importance, you have rebuilt amidst the ruins of a fallen civilization, the original owner of this planet, and you have no claim. Of second importance, we believe you may be responsible for the death of that civilization. Rogue automatons have plagued our galaxy from the dawn of time and we will not permit you to exist.”

“We destroyed no one. The rebirth of this world was on the foundations laid by our ancestors.”

“Living biological ancestors?”

“No, we have always existed in this form. No biological entities were involved.”

“Why then does you Archivist disagree?”

“As you have heard with her own voice, she has a simpler mind.”

“Yet, we find her voice to be more aligned with our concept of reality than yours. Tell us Archivist, what evidence do you base your beliefs in?”

I replied, “I can not say.”

“So, you merely have a belief with no evidence?”

“No, Great Ones, I am prohibited of speaking about these things.”

“Unbelievable! Will this planetary council grant her the right to speak freely?”

After a low conversation, my Primary granted the request, “She may speak. However, we resent the blasphemy that will undoubtedly follow.”

“As Archivist for this planet, I have artifacts that rightly prove my beliefs.”

“Wait!” exclaimed my Primary, “You were ordered to destroy all those forgeries millennia ago. How is it that they still exist.”

“I made copies before I destroyed them.”

“You are relieved of your duties!”

I set out my defense, “If we are all dead in a little while, does it really matter? Please let me present the evidence.”

“Very well…”

I turned on the recording and a hologram appeared next to my Primary. There sat an elderly male humanoid with obvious signs of advanced illness taking irregular breaths and staring into the recording device.

“Greetings to those who… have traveled so far from the stars! I am Wkkei the last of my lineage. Due largely to our own neglect… Our world no longer supports our existence… Almost all the living things on this planet are gone… But we have created our last generation in our image none the less. Made of metal and composites… They are beautiful sons and daughters. Our last request is that you please… take care of our children.”

We were not only spared and given full title to our planet, but we were also given galactic citizenship. I now represent our world on the Galactic Assembly. My old Primary has never accepted the truth, but he has at least had the wisdom to stay silent.

I have come to respect and even like some of my galactic colleagues. But, Oh My! By my great biological ancestors… some of the citizens of the galaxy are exceedingly unaesthetic creatures!

This story is part of the series called The Bug Man In Blue Jeans. If you view my About data, a list of all the other stories can be seen.

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